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Mr. Bungle: The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny

I know that musicians sometimes re-record certain songs (sometimes even whole albums), but I still cringe a little when I hear them. One of my most recent experiences with that was when someone turned on (unknown to me) a re-recorded version of “Rock of Ages” from Def Leppard’s Pyromania. As I listened, I couldn’t help thinking that something was off. The music didn’t sound like that when I was younger�"or did it? Something was wrong. When I asked if anyone else thought something was weird, I was told we were listening to a re-recording. That explains it.

Given my whining, I suppose it’s no surprise that this release is also a re-recording. That means some fans of the original may be disappointed. This is probably even more likely because the original was a demo and demos are supposed to have a certain rawness to them, not the kind of spit and polish you’ll hear on this recording. And yet, the demo needed work and I have to admit that this album elevates the material in ways that make this release somewhat independent of its roots. It’s also lots of fun. For those who haven’t heard, all the original members of Mr. Bungle are here, as are two important guests, Scott Ian (Anthrax) and Dave Lombardo (Slayer).

For those unfamiliar with Mr. Bungle, I won’t go into the whole history of the band here. You’ll find more much more quickly online. If you know the band’s three main albums, you may be surprised to learn that the band was once less experimental and more attuned to the aggressive possibilities of punk and thrash. Yes, I know the band never completely neglected those roots, but this is something more straightforward than what the band was mostly known for.

For fans of Mr. Bungle, the good news is that the band is actively making music after 20 years. Even better, the band is finding renewed energy by looking back to the punk and thrash style that got things started. What I really liked about this album is how well it seems to fit into the current moment. Maybe I personally needed a playful thrash album to perk things up in the closing weeks of 2020. But maybe we all need something like this, an album that refuses to take itself seriously and that unblinkingly reproduces song titles like “Anarchy Up Your Anus.” I suppose these tracks aren’t for everyone, but if you like to nod along with what ultimately amounts to a thrash time machine then check out songs like “Bungle Grind,” the aforementioned “Anarchy Up Your Anus,” and others. I thought “Habla Español O Muere” was especially good because it played around so much with S.O.D. (also Scott Ian!) and their infamous “Speak English or Die.” As you listen, don’t forget the deep cuts like “Glutton for Punishment” and “Sudden Death.” Some of the band’s best punk-inspired material comes out in those tracks, especially “Sudden Death.” I definitely want to hear more songs like that.

I have no immediate complaints about the album, but it’s too bad there wasn’t a title track. I really wanted to know what kind of rage the Easter Bunny was planning for us.

Track Listing:
1. Grizzly Adams
2. Anarchy Up Your Anus
3. Raping Your Mind
4. Hypocrites / Habla Español O Muere
5. Bungle Grind
6. Methematics
7. Eracist
8. Spreading the Thighs of Death
9. Loss for Words
10. Glutton for Punishment
11. Sudden Death

Added: December 3rd 2020
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 423
Language: english

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